This is according to a recent report by the San Francisco Standard, which reveals that incidents involving autonomous vehicles owned by both Waymo and rival company Cruise have more than tripled from 24 to 87 incidents between January and April 2023.
Waymo and Cruise are on the verge of receiving approval from the California Public Utilities Commission to operate their driverless taxis or "robotaxis" around the clock in San Francisco. City officials are attempting to resist this deployment.
"Waymo driverless AVs [automatic vehicles] have committed numerous violations that would preclude any teenager from getting a California driver's license," wrote city officials.
As part of their protest, San Francisco officials submitted a report addressing the numerous concerns city officials and residents have raised regarding the driverless taxis, including unplanned stops that cause traffic disruptions and interference with public transit and emergency services. (Related: Self-driving cars are causing traffic incidents all over San Francisco.)
Based on this data, San Francisco officials believe that automated driving is not currently safer than human driving. They argue that granting approval for robotaxis "abrogates the Commission's responsibility to protect human safety."
The Utilities Commission is scheduled to vote on June 29 on whether to grant Waymo and Cruise's permits for round-the-clock robotaxi services in the city. This is the last hurdle for both companies' autonomous vehicles to ply the city's streets, as they have already obtained approval from the Department of Motor Vehicles for their operations and the regulation of robotaxis primarily falls under state-level jurisdiction.
In one of the most recent incidents, a self-driving Waymo car struck and fatally injured a small dog in San Francisco.
The incident occurred in broad daylight on May 21 at Toland Street in eastern San Francisco. According to reports, the incident occurred when Waymo's autonomous Jaguar I-Pace SUV, accompanied by a human safety operator, was cruising near Waymo's depot. The dog unexpectedly ran into the street, catching the attention of the autonomous vehicle's systems, but not that of the human safety driver.
Waymo claimed in a statement that the accident was unavoidable due to the dog's speed and path trajectory. The company confirmed that its systems correctly identified the dog based on an initial review.
"The investigation is ongoing … We send our sincere condolences to the dog's owner," said the company in a statement. "The trust and safety of the communities we are in is the most important thing to us, and we're continuing to look into this on our end."
A month previously, a separate incident involving a Waymo SUV blocked a fire truck belonging to the San Francisco Fire Department, further raising concerns about the safety and reliability of self-driving vehicles.
Waymo claims the driverless car was unable to properly move for the fire truck due to parked cars to its left and right.
Unfortunately for the city, this kind of incident is very common with driverless cars. It occurred just two weeks after several Waymo vehicles pulled over in the Balboa Park neighborhood due to intense fog, causing traffic in the area to halt.
And then, back in January, one self-driving Waymo car stopped at a construction site and required the assistance of Waymo employees for it to resume its journey.
Learn more about autonomous vehicles at RoboCars.news.
Watch this clip from InfoWars discussing how Google's Waymo is cozying up to China for aid in establishing an empire of control and tracking movement using driverless cars.